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A Travel Blog from the Editors of T+L

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EX-PATS: From New York Streets to Tulum Sands

Switching careers is always a bit of a tango, but for designer David Graziano hopping from New York City to Tulum, Mexico was a no-brainer. David spent the first 13 years of his career designing NYC nightclubs like Pink Elephant and Kiss & Fly, but it wasn’t until he left these fast-paced streets behind that he discovered his true calling. 

Moving to the sandy shores of Tulum gave David a “giant lift,” and he began building Ahau Hotel from scratch as soon as he landed. David’s only goal is to provide a paradise for his guests—and perhaps now to his wife and baby girl as well.

Need more daydream-worthy career moves? Watch the video or head to the Reserve Channel’s YouTube page for the full series of EX-PATS.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Paris: Bottoms Up at This Modern Medieval Tavern

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Ride back to the Middle Ages with this French eatery, much swankier than a tournament at Medieval Times.

Distressed, castle-style doors greet you at new Paris restaurant, Le Sergent Recruteur. While there are no knights in shining armor at this tavern, an expansive stainless steel bar serves up full goblets of wine with each course.

The all-fixed, five-course menu starts at 65 euros for lunch, 95 euros for dinner, and 35 euros for wine pairings. Top plates to try include the poached oyster in seaweed broth and cucumber foam, warm praline and cabbage salad, and a deconstructed chocolate vacherin for dessert.

Although swordfights are absent in Le Sergent Recruteur, acting refined after five hefty wine pairings is a battle all its own.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Klunderbie

Hotel Survey: Americans Don't Go Away Enough

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Feel like you need a vacation? You’re not alone. According to the SpringHill Suites Annual Travel Survey, close to one in four (23%) employed Americans don’t get any paid vacation days, and 90% who do say they want more.

And who can blame them? Springtime sun is far more appealing than a fluorescent cubicle light. So, say you are one of the lucky 49% who receive paid vacation—your travel time is most likely 15 days or less. Are two weeks really enough to satisfy your wanderlust?

Making matters more complicated, 57% of Americans believe feel that staying home or local for vacation is a thing of the past. Popular far-off destinations—think Australia or Thailand—can take two days just to get to. That’s four precious days out of 15 spent commuting. The last I checked, teleportation is still in its infancy, so that trims time in your bucket-list locale to eleven days.

Lastly, men seem to hold out longer between vacations, waiting about one year or 52 weeks to take off, while women head out about every 10 months or 43 weeks. What to do if you’re glued to the work desk? Relax in your rolly chair with T+L's midweek daydreams.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Parisian Bistro Breaks Up the Crowd

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Overrun by touristy cafes and dives, Les Halles, Paris finally catches a break with new restaurant, Pirouette. Plate glass windows reminiscent of Los Angeles beckon crowds to this quality bistro that aims for an honest price and satisfying product.

The two-course lunch menu is a steal: servers trot out traditional eats like pot roast with carrot puree, and crispy chicken breast with mashed potatoes. The higher priced three-course menu features more elaborate options, such as chilled cream of lettuce soup with an egg cooked sous-vide to medium, smoked eel with confit potatoes, rare roasted pigeon, and pan-seared whiting with withered zucchini and tomato and fresh radish. Classic desserts are given a twist, like the soggy baba au rhum with lime sauce.

With most Les Halles eateries plagued by crowds, niche bistro Pirouette grants epicurean city-goers a sigh of relief.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: Wendy Lyn @ TheParisKitchen.com

Paris Screams for these Funky Ice Cream Flavors

Glaces Glazed

The food truck trend isn’t just for Americans—Paris, a culinary epicenter, is expanding its street food scene as well. The latest is Glaces Glazed, a high concept ice cream peddler with fearless flavors given appropriately rock and roll names.

Top flavors include Smoke on the Water (Madagascar vanilla with organic hemp seeds), Black Sugar Sex Magic (dark chocolate sorbet with wasabi and ginger) and Orange Mécanique (the French title for A Clockwork Orange, is orange and Campari sorbet with balsamic reduction).

If you miss the truck, pick up a carton before your flight home at Lafayette Gourmet, a part of Europe’s largest luxury department store, Galeries Lafayette.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Glaces Glazed

Paris Chef Brings Femme Flare to Michelin-Starred Menu

La Dame de Pic

Amidst the macho world of iron chefs and gastropubs, feminine plays on food are scarce. Three-star Michelin chef Anne-Sophie Pic, however, decided to take the girly route with her latest Parisian restaurant, La Dame de Pic. Pastel pink and peach colored menus are first presented in fragrant scent strips. The aromatic theme then carries to the food, which starts with coffee- and peppermint-infused butter and multigrain toast.

Palates are kept sweet on Pic’s three-course lunch menu with strong fruit accents, including foie gras with a zesty lemon confit, a rouleau of suckling pig with fresh figs matcha, and a chestnut panna cotta with grapefruit gel for dessert. While La Dame de Pic flaunts a ladylike atmosphere, the flavors in its complex and daring dishes are anything but delicate.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by François Goizé

FAA Approves Boeing 787 Dreamliner Battery Modifications

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On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration officially announced its approval of Boeing’s re-design for the 787 Dreamliner. Nearly four months after a series of alarming battery fires caused the FAA to the ground the aircraft, Boeing is eager to put its fuel-efficient fleet back in the air.

Modifications to the lithium-ion battery system include extra insulation around each of the battery’s eight cells to prevent short circuit fires from spreading, enhanced venting to move smoke from inside the battery to outside of the plane, and a strengthened box to further contain fires.

These changes, according to transportation secretary Ray LaHood, "will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers."

While many airlines—including All Nippon Airways and Japan Airways—are also awaiting the 787’s release, any return to service will have to wait until the FAA accepts Boeing’s completed work.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

On the Menu: Sharp Cheese and Strong Sips in Paris

Vivant Table

After reinventing his menu for Paris restaurant Vivant Table, chef Pierre Jancou has opened the wine bar offshoot to complement his cuisine. Vivant Cave’s menu is dominated by charcuterie and cheese but the few hot plates are typical to the house style: extremely simple with the highest-quality ingredients.

Plates include marinated grilled artichokes, chicken stew with al-dente pasta, and bonito with bouillon and micro root vegetables. A list of funky, all natural wines pair well with Jancou’s basic menu.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Wendy Lyn @ TheParisKitchen.com

Ritz-Carlton Expands Award-Winning Environmental Program

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This summer, Ritz-Carlton guests will have more to look forward to than just sunbathing. The luxury hotel company will expand its ecological program, Ambassadors of the Environment, to three of its properties. The program, created by award-winning environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, emphasizes education and sustainability through various Caribbean eco-adventures.

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On the Menu: French Chef Spices Up Sushi

Pierre Sang Boyer

Top Chef finalist, Pierre Sang Boyer, has finally settled down in the Oberkampf area of Paris after a number of pop-up restaurants. The Korean, French-raised chef offers a fixed menu at his eponymous Pierre Sang Restaurant.

Original course combinations include tempura of andoilette with tuna sashimi, roast-suckling pig with pumpkin puree, and a moelleux of chocolate with wasabi and Armagnac foam. The restaurant is first come, first serve with no reservations or telephone, so plan to beat the 1 o’clock lunch crowd for less waiting and more munching.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo © Niki Photograph

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